Tag Archive for Lunar New Year Korea

Everything Korea, December 26 Episode, New Year Greetings

Like many Asian countries, South Korea has two different New Year days—one that follows the solar calendar and one that uses the lunar calendar.

Traditionally the lunar New Year’s, called So-nal, has had greater cultural and familial significance (In 2017 the 3 day holiday will be celebrated on January 27 – 30).

As for the solar New Year’s celebration, in 1896, as part of reforms instituted to Westernize and modernize Korea, the Gregorian calendar was adopted, along with some of the West’s holidays such as the January 1st New Year’s celebration.

Today I find South Korea’s celebration of the Jan. 1 New Year similar to celebration in America. For example, Koreans make New Year’s resolutions where they promise to exercise regularly, eat fewer sweet things—such as chocolates and candy—or endeavor to study harder.

It’s appropriate to wish your Korean colleagues a seasonal greeting this week prior to the holiday, just as you will wish your non-Korean friends “Happy New Year.”

The good news is …

The Korean New Year greeting is “Sae hae bok mani ba deu say yo.”  It is a great phrase to learn because it will also be used again at the lunar New Years celebration in late January.

Again, pronounced: sae hae bok—mahne—bah deu say yo.

Oh, one more thing. This is the last Vodcast of 2016. Look for my upcoming thoughts for 2017 out early in 2017.


Everything Korea: February 1 Episode, the Lunar New Year

The Year of the Red Monkey: Energy, Liveliness and Success.

Korea (as well as China, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore and many Asian countries) celebrate two New Years’– one on Jan. 1 and the Lunar New Year celebration, which

this year falls on February 7th to 10th.   

Each lunar new year has an associated animal, as well as a related element like fire (red), water (black), earth (yellow), metal (white) and wood (blue), all which rotate over a 60 year cycle.  Hence, Red (Fire) Monkey, Black (Water) Snake, White (Metal) Dragon, etc.

It’s a great time to re-connect with Korean teams and friends.

For your Korean colleagues (in Korea), you can wish them “Happy Lunar New Year” by phone, text, or email, late afternoon on Thursday February 4th (so, Friday AM in Korea, which is their last day in office prior to Holiday).

For expat Koreans working outside Korea/ globally, or in your local operations,  you can wish then Happy Lunar New Year on Sunday February 7, or Monday February 8.

 sae hae bok (1)

Here is the formal greeting–Sae hae bok mani ba deu say yo

Give it a try.   You will find it will be greatly appreciated.

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Year of the Black Dragon– Happy Lunar New Year

By Don Southerton,  Editor
This year Korea will celebrate their annual Lunar New Year holiday on Sunday January 22, Monday January 23, and Tuesday January 24.

Lunar New Year 2012

The Year of the Black Dragon

Regarding the holiday, I have some recommendations.

For your Korean colleagues (in Korea), you can wish them Happy Lunar New Year by phone, or email on Thursday, January 19 in the late afternoon. ( Friday in Korea).

For Koreans working in the U.S. or globally you can wish then Happy Lunar New Years on Friday January 20 (pm) or Monday January 23.

Here is the formal greeting–Sae hae bok mani ba deu say yo.

I suggest you also share with your non-Korean teams the significance of the holiday.

Here is some info to share with the team:

The 2012 Lunar New Year celebration ( Seol) is Jan. 22-24. This is the year of the Dragon (actually the Black Dragon.) This year is considered especially lucky…

Along with Chusok (the fall harvest festival), Lunar New Year is the most important of traditional Korean holidays.

In Korea, Seol includes gift-giving and family activities that show respect to elders and ancestors. Most Korean businesses are closed for the holiday with millions of Koreans traveling to join their family or take a short vacation.
Hope this is helpful, Sae hae bok mani ba deu say yo.